Download Creole and dialect continua: standard acquisition processes by Geneviève Escure PDF

By Geneviève Escure

This paintings examines the unguided acquisition of a customary language through audio system of nonstandard types in detailed linguistic and geographical occasions: in a Caribbean creole state of affairs (Belize); and in a non-creole state of affairs (PRC) in China. In either situations, psychosocial elements, linguistic bias towards non-native renderings of the traditional types, the social prestige in their audio system, and comparable political and academic effects play a big position within the improvement of moment dialects. the final word objective underlying the comparability of particular discourse variables in Belizean and chinese language commonplace acquisition is to guage the relative benefits of substratal, superstratal, and common reasons in language improvement.

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Such high emigration patterns appear to be confirmed by the relative youth of the Belizean population: 65% is under age twenty-four whereas the most pro­ ductive segment of the population (ages twenty-five to fifty-four) amounts to only 28%. Individuals over fifty-four constitute only 8% of the population. The 1980 census showed a similar trend in age distribution for the ten previous years. This overall pattern suggests that most of the breadwinners live abroad. Emigration is obviously an important factor likely to influence the lan­ guage situation, either because this young population is likely to have a power­ ful impact on language choice or because connections with United States resi­ dents may affect language development in Belize.

In the case of nonstandard learners, language universals may have already been actively used in the natural development of their uncodified vernacular. 1 Two case studies It is hoped that a detailed analysis of selected aspects of two ethnically differ­ ent types of second dialect acquisition will contribute to our understanding of INTRODUCTION: DEVELOPMENTAL CONTINUA 21 cross-linguistic acquisitional mechanisms and of linguistic bias. " English is the medium claimed to be used in all governmental and educational functions, but the reality is far from meeting official expectations.

It is also possible that the pidgin developed through earlier con­ tacts between Africans and Europeans along the West African coast (Hancock 1980 assumes a Proto-Creole originating in the Upper Guinea Coast). However, it is practically impossible to ascertain with any degree of accuracy the under­ lying components of Belizean Creole, both because of the complex population movements which occurred in the area and because of the absence of historical linguistic and demographic documentation. Such paucity of data is largely due to the traditionally low status assigned to creoles as the vernacular languages of a long oppressed group.

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